Guitar Making and Repair/LS331


Hello Mr. Wilczynski,
I am trying to restore a 1972 light show, someone removed the lights and the silver backing, and all the wires from the instrument. I have the original transformer, the DIN receptical is still in the guitar but that is all. Any Recomendations?
Greg Ginter
Guitar Shop of Wisconsin

Hi, Greg.

I'm sorry to hear about the skeletal condition of that 331LS...

You say the lights are gone. I would assume that you mean the circuit boards that the bulb sockets are attached to, have been removed.

Unfortunately, these boards are the heart of the LS and if they are missing, the chance of restoring the guitar to original condition are nigh to impossible.

I have never seen the boards for sale as separate parts, either new or used. I'd venture to say that it's much easier to find a complete 331, that it would be to find the parts. Besides the boards and bulbs, you would need the aluminum heat sink, which is also the mounting point for the SCR transistors, and the wiring harness. The circuit boards also contain all of the components for the LS circuitry.

If you examine the DIN connector, you will find that only two of the pins were used. these supplied the 18 VAC from the transformer box, to the circuit boards.

The other alternative is to go non-original and solid-state, using high intensity LEDs. This produces a similar effect, but brighter and more instantaneous. It uses the original DIN connector and an outboard control box, too. I manufacture the conversion and have sold dozens over the last few years. I can also do the fitting for you.

If, on the other hand, someone has merely removed the sockets for the bulbs, these are available from many sources, such as Mouser Electronics.

Good luck, sir.


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paul wilczynski


Anything concerning building, tuning, theory of construction. Specialist in finishing (40 years' experience); extensive knowledge of Rickenbacker instruments of all vintages. Rickenbacker factory connection on personal level; ONLY licensed Rickenbacker luthier in the world.


Extensive. I build and restore electric and acoustic guitars (steel string and nylon classicals). I build all of Rickenbacker's acoustic instruments in my own shops in San Francisco and Healdsburg, CA. I write two online columns with a total of over 15,000 posts since January, 2005. Google my name or my screen name, "jingle_jangle".

American Guild of Luthiers.

Mostly automotive and hobby (in the past).

Manage the University Department workshops(Industrial Design) in SF, also have taught and written design and fabrication classes for almost a decade. Have produced online classes, written curricula, syllabi, etc. Run an online forum for my students (500 in number).

Awards and Honors
Awards won for product, vehicle, and preschool toy design in the past.

Past/Present Clients
Rickenbacker International Corporation, Waterstone Guitars LLC, many Fortune 500 companies before I worked in guitars (I ran a design studio for 22 years). I have hundreds of individual--private party--customers.

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